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manner, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, that all the expiatory offerings and sacrifices of the Jews were typical of the great atoning sacrifice by the death of Christ ; and that they were originally designed by God to be so. Consequently, when thus authorized, we may draw a comparison from the one, in order to illustrate the other.
The expiatory offerings of the law were not a substitution, I admit, which did of itself procure a remission of the punishment due to the moral turpitude of sin; for it is impossible, as the sacred writer has told us, that the blood of goats and bullocks should take away sin, and tranquillize the conscience wounded by a sense of guilt. It could not remove the apprehension, that divine displeasure might inflict on the offender punishment of a spiritual nature. But still, it is a fact that the blood of goats and bullocks was appointed by God, to be an expiatory offering for certain offences against the Jewish law; while at the same time this very offering was also a type of the sacrifice to be offered by Christ, in order to remove the punishment due to moral turpitude. He who brought a sin or trespass offering, and presented it to the Lord, was exempted from the sentence which the law of Moses pronounced against the ex, ternal offence that he had committed. The whole nation, as such, were freed from the penalty annexed to certain offences, on the great day of atonement, when the high priest entered the most holy place, and presented the blood of the national offering or victim before Jehovah; not indeed from the punishment of a spiritual nature due to sin, but from
some penalty of an external nature, threatened in the present life. In a word, God as the sovereign legislator and judge of the Jews did, by the exercise of his supreme right, actually appoint sin and trespass offerings as expiatory sacrifices; which being presented agreeably to his appointment were followed by the real remission, on his part, of the penalty due to certain offences, and threatened by the law of Moses. So the apostle himself states the subject. “ The blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling those who were defiled, made expiation in respect to external purity,” i. e. after the performance of such sacrificial rites, the Jews were regarded and treated, in respect to their external relations, as pure or free from exposure to the penalty threatened by the law of Moses. 'Heb. 11. 13.
The fact just stated cannot be called in question. We have only to open the book of Leviticus, and it is at once exhibited before our eyes.
Here, then, we are presented with a case of substitution ; actual substitution by the appointment of God, the supreme legislator and judge of the Jewish nation and of all men; a case in which a beast was slain instead of the criminal being punished who made an offering of it, and who had himself incurred the penalty of the Mosaic law.
But how and why such an expiation as has been described was made by the blood of slain beasts, different persons have endeavoured, and might endeavour, to explain in various ways. I cannot enter at all here, into the discussion of this point Suffice it to say, that all who admit the reasoning in
the Epistle to the Hebrews, must admit that the Jewish sacrifices were typical of the sacrifice of Christ. Do not the representations of the Scripture also entitle us to believe, that the penitent offender, who was sufficiently enlightened in respect to the true nature of the Mosaic dispensation, while he knew that by his offering, penalties of an external nature would of course be remitted to him, might and probably did, by faith, look forward to the great atoning sacrifice, the antitype of that which he offered, for a remission of the punishment of a spiritual nature, which was due to his transgressions.
Considering now the facts in regard to this whole subject, as they stand disclosed in the Jewish Scriptures, who will venture to pronounce, that a similar arrangement under the general government of God in respect to men, is impossible? The moral purposes of God in respect to this government, we may cheerfully admit, are the highest purposes which are known to us. But had he no moral purposes to effect under the Jewish dispensation, and by the Mosaic institutes ? Most certainly he had. Incipient and imperfect they were indeed, compared with the great moral ends accomplished by the Gospel. But still they were real. Yet God as the supreme lawgiver and judge of the Jews, did, in some cases, remit the penalty of his law as given by Moses, in consequence of a substitute for it. Now if the thing itself were absurd or impossible, he could not have done it. Nor can we conceive of any more impossibility that he should do the same thing under his general government of men, than that he should do it under the Jewish dispensation. Wrong is not more really done (if there be wrong at all) in the one case, than in the other; and one is therefore just as possible for God as the other. So far as we can see, there is no more hazard to the general interests of the universe, in the admission of vicarious sacrifice for sinners, than there was to the Jewish commonwealth, by the admission of expiatory offering into its system of government
In a word; God did admit vicarious sacrifices under his government of the Jews; and an inspired apostle has taught us that they were, and were designed to be, types of the great expiatory offering made by Christ. To express it in another manner; that was done in ancient times upon a smaller scale, which at a later period was done on a larger one. The penalty for certain offences against the Mosaic law, was removed by the sacrifice of goats and bullocks; and the penalty against the higher law of heaven (if you please so to name it), is removed by the death of Christ. If both are by the arrangement of heaven, the one presents no more impossibility than the other.
Nor can it be objected here, that the expiatory sacrifices of the law procured merely the remission of a civil or ecclesiastical penalty, which was wholly of an external nature, and could be inflicted by men; but that the removal of the penalty due to moral turpitude, is a very different thing, and has a much more important bearing upon the interests of God's moral government. I accede to the fact that
it has. But this does not render an expiatory offer ing impossible, provided. one adequate to the occasion can be made. I believe the Scriptures teach us, that such an one has been made by the Son of God. As the end to be accomplished by a Saviour's death, was of a far higher, nobler nature, than that accomplished by the sacrifices of the Levitical law, so the victim that was to be offered, was of a rank which corresponded to the object to be attained. The redemption of men from everlasting death, (not of the Jews only but also of the Gentiles,) was concerned with this sacrifice. Well then might the apostle draw the admirable comparison, which he has drawn in Heb. ix. 13, 14, between the one species of offering and the other. “ If,” says he, 6 the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh; how MUCH MORE shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit, offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.” That is, If the beast which perished forever under the knife of the sacrificing priest, did still, by divine appointment, make atonement for certain offences against the Mosaic law, so that the penalty denounced against them was remitted, and the offender treated as though he were not guilty; how much more shall the holy Saviour, a victim possessed of a nobler nature-of a never-dying spirit-make expiation for the moral turpitude of offences against God as the governor of the world.
If this reasoning of the apostle be admitted, then